Renowned Hungarian political analysts concurred on a recent talk show that US Ambassador David Pressman is a political activist rather than a diplomat.
It is high time the Ambassador (or rather, Embarassador) stopped hurling baseless accusations at the Orbán government, and instead, got down to doing what the real mission of an ambassador is: foster bilateral relations. Last time we checked, ruining the Hungarian-US relationship is not part of the job.
US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman was quick to condemn PM Viktor Orbán’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on the social media platform X., suggesting the Hungarian prime minister was ‘pleading for business deals’. In response, Balázs Orbán pointed out that the US has in fact doubled its import of enriched uranium from Russia since the start of the war.
György Szöllősi, who serves as both the chief editor for the Hungarian sports daily Nemzeti Sport and Vice President of the International Sports Press Association Europe was invited to give the keynote address at a football cup organized by the Hungarian diaspora living in North America in Chicago, Illinois. However, despite his high prestige in his profession, his visa application was inexplicably denied by the US Embassy in Hungary.
This is not the first instance of the ambassador offering an unsolicited opinion about Hungary’s past. Last year, he published a message regarding the 1956 revolution, drawing parallels with the Russo-Ukrainian war, and this spring he lauded the Soviet Red Army that occupied Hungary in 1945.
‘It makes me extremely embarrassed and sad as an American to see this envoy from the Biden administration coming here with bizarre sex politics, trying to push them on Hungarians for no reason that benefits American national security or the economy.’
The former Arizona gubernatorial candidate shared her views on social media about the US State Department’s decision to reduce the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) validity period for Hungarian citizens on Twitter, calling it ‘despicable’.
The Budapest embassy stated that the United States government made significant efforts over the years to avoid this modification and resolve the longstanding security risk resulting from the Hungarian simplified naturalisation process. However, the Hungarian government decided not to address the concerns raised and did not take the necessary steps to fully comply with the VWP requirements.
The embassies of the United States, Germany, Slovakia, and 35 other nations have put out a joint statement ahead of the Budapest Pride March, condemning the Hungarian government for allegedly not protecting the rights of LGBTQ people in the country. US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman was also present at the March, where also gave yet another critical speech.
It can’t be doubted that gays and lesbians have been badly treated. It is real and welcome progress that gay men and women can walk the streets of Budapest holding hands and face no harm. In a liberal society, people have a right to be wrong. But that right is not unlimited…Only a few years ago, if one had said, ‘They’re coming for our children!’, one would have been denounced as a bigot and an alarmist. Now, in 2023, a gay rights march chants the same thing, proudly, in America’s cultural capital.
The Ambassador stressed that LGBT activism is ‘not cultural imperialism’, nor is it ‘an export of a decadent West’. However, ‘pride month’, which he called on all Hungarians to celebrate, is centred around two recent events in American history that have nothing to do with Hungarian culture.
Today, confirmed anti-Semites may be the ‘great friends of the Jews’, but members and sympathisers of the government that proclaims ‘zero tolerance’ regarding anti-Semitism at all international and domestic fora, and which unequivocally stands by and up for Israel, can be labelled as the ‘new anti-Semites’. Israelis cannot invoke the Holocaust as an argument of her legitimacy and a historical event of her people, because the ‘new Jews’ are Palestinians and migrants. Now ‘Nazi’ apparently denotes a right-wing Jew in some circles, while Nazis seem to be the ‘guests of honour’ at seder tables.
One hundred fifty-five people from Hungary travelled to Poland to attend the International March of the Living on 18 April, where nearly 10,000 participants from 54 countries marched the 3 km route between the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau lagers. The march was held on Yom HaShoah, which is Israel’s National Day of Mourning for the victims of the Holocaust.
It remains to be seen, however, if this desperate craving for attention, and the aggressive and violent actions that some of the opposition forces engage in are appealing to the Hungarian electorate. It is more likely that meaningful, constructive actions, and a comprehensive and relevant political agenda would benefit these opposition parties more than any of the stunts they have been recently engaging in.
Ambassadors are supposed to represent their country’s interests in overseas capitals, including advocating for their government’s policies. But they are also supposed to be prudent and, well, diplomatic. Do the American people understand how David Pressman, Washington’s man in Budapest and the chief cosmetician of swinish policies, is coming off like a ham-fisted bully?—An opinion piece by Rod Dreher.
The confusing messaging of the US Embassy-sponsored billboards seems to erroneously imply that the Orbán administration is not in favour of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, when in fact the Hungarian government has repeatedly stated its public support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
‘So far, they have done everything, and they will continue to do everything in the future on behalf of the United States government to make Hungary change its position,’ the leader of the Nézőpont Institute, Sámuel Ágoston Mráz said in a radio interview.
The US Ambassador announced that three senior officials of IIB, including a Hungarian citizen, Imre Laszlóczki, and two Russian nationals, Nikolai Kosov and Georgi Potapov have been placed on the list of sanctioned individuals. IIB is a platform for Russia to extend its influence in the region, and is therefore a potential threat for both the European Union and its Western allies, Pressman stated.
US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman caused quite an outrage with his recent decision to invite Jobbik president Márton Gyöngyösi to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Pesach at his residence. Gyöngyösi called for the creation of a list of Hungarian politicians of Jewish ancestry some years ago.
PM Orbán shared his message of support for the former US President on Twitter. Donald Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in New York City, all related to the same act, paying off a mistress to keep quiet about their affair. Democrat Senator John Edwards had a nearly identical case, which did not result in a conviction in 2012.
Hungarian leaders have been constantly calling for peace negotiations. By contrast, the US government has been sending tens of billions of dollars in military aid and weapons to Ukraine, with the goal of helping the aggrieved nation against expansionist Russia, but also prolonging the armed conflict in the process.
Last April, the overwhelming majority of Hungarian people voted against the left-wing opposition in favour of the current government party, conscious that it promised to protect Hungary’s peace and security above all—even if the excisemen of the war would have it otherwise.
The Hungarian Prime Minister delivered his state of the nation speech on Saturday. His topics included the war, the future of the country, domestic and geopolitics and his commitment to developing the countryside.
It is difficult not to interpret the visit of Samantha Power, the current head of USAID, to Budapest last Thursday and Friday as an American telling-off.